Niger Delta Group accuses 2 Abuja-based journalists of witch-hunting Patience Jonathan

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Niger Delta Group accuses 2 Abuja-based journalists of witch-hunting Patience Jonathan

A Niger Delta rights group Niger Delta Initiative for Peace and Development Association (NDPDA) has accused two journalists of witch-hunting Dame Patience Jonathan, wife of the former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, threatening to take legal action against them if they do not stop.

In a statement by its President Comrade Inigbelabia Kaizer, NDPDA alleged that they have monitored the reporters over time and had established the fact that the two reporters who work for prominent national papers (names withheld)were hired hands who were contracted to write all stories concerning the Economic and Financial Crimes  Commission (EFCC), against Mrs Jonathan.

The group further claimed that all their stories were targeted at painting the former first Lady in bad light.

The statement said: “We are deeply concerned that the newspapers have willfully positioned themselves through these paid agents to run an endless campaign of calumny against the person of the former First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan and her husband, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

Week after week, Punch and The Nation have continued to churn out and rehash same unsubstantiated tales bordering on alleged corruption; apparently in a desperate effort to do the bidding of those who are obviously all out to tarnish the image of Mrs. Jonathan.

“Despite the enormous security, economic and social challenges that had befallen this nation since Mrs. Jonathan and her husband left office almost three years ago, these reporters appear to have done nothing else, outside focusing on fabricated stories against the former First Lady and her husband.”

The group further alleged that the stories were also targeted at embarrassing Mrs Jonathan’s husband, former President Jonathan, each time he returned from an international engagement.

It said: “One established trend these papers have perfected without fail is to always rehash old and contrived negative stories bordering on corruption, as a means of neutralizing whatever goodwill the former President would harvest from his numerous high level international engagements. For instance, Jonathan has just returned from Malaysia where he delivered a well received keynote address at a World Peace Summit.  We are convinced that this last story by these newspapers was just tailored to douse the positive outcome of that outing.”

“One thing we however know is that these hired characters are not God. No matter what they do, they cannot alter the will of God in the lives of this blessed couple.

 

Even then, we cannot fold our hands and allow the witch-hunt facilitated by these two compromised journalists to continue. We are warning them to desist from this their evil and unprofessional path forthwith, or be prepared to face the legal consequences of their actions.”

 

Below is the full text of the statement:

 

ADVICE TO TWO JOURNALISTS RECRUITED BY EFCC TO WITCH-HUNT DAME PATIENCE JONATHAN

 

Our attention has been drawn to a particular storysyndicated in two newspapers; Punch of Tuesday 12 September 2017, entitled ‘EFCC Discovers Patience Jonathan’s N6bn Abuja Plaza’ under the byline of EniolaAkinkuotu and The Nation of the same day with a different title ‘EFCC traces Abuja Posh Assets to Jonathan’s Wife’ under the byline of Yusuf Alli.

We see no difference between these two stories and the ones that were previously published by the same newspapers in the names of Messrs. Akinkuotu and Alli, with thesame intention of painting Mrs. Jonathan in bad light.

We are deeply concerned that the newspapers havewilfully positioned themselvesthrough these paid agents to run an endless campaign of calumny against the person of the former First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan and her husband, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. Week after week, Punch and The Nation have continued to churn out and rehash same unsubstantiated talesbordering on alleged corruption; apparently in a desperate effort to do the bidding of those who are obviously all out to tarnish the image of Mrs. Jonathan.

The stories in question written by the same reporters, whose byline appears in almost all the articles emanating from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), were given so much prominence, even as they ran foul of the key tenets of the journalism profession.

In the first place,the writers identified the property in question as belonging to a non-governmental organization (NGO), which is by all means, a separate entity. But in another breathe, the authors claimed that the property, which is a business office of the NGO, is now a Plaza belonging to Mrs. Jonathan, just to satisfy a predetermined narrative.

Again, we note that in the case of Punch, the reporter, evidently, for the ease of posting an emotive sum, relied on what he called “comparative analysis” to arrive at N6 billion value, even after admitting that the property “has not yet been valued by the commission (EFCC)”

How these professional requirements were sidestepped, without compromising the rigor that usually defines the canons of journalism, could only be explained by those who publish such information.

Given the frequency with which these two papers generate stories focusing on Mrs. Jonathan and her family, we are left with no choice butto conclude that there are more to it than the known professional duty of informing the public.

We are aware that every First Lady in this country, including the incumbent and her daughter, had floated NGOs or foundations through which they intervened in society’s social needs. Such NGOs usually existed as separate entities. Outside Mrs. Jonathan, we are yet to see any of the other First Ladies that had been probed, because of the activities of their Foundations. We have also not seen where the assets and liabilities of such organizations, which are separate entities, are appropriated as belonging to their founders; as Punch and The nation havecontinued to insinuate in the case of Mrs. Jonathan.

We also expected Punch and The Nation to devote the same energy and beam the same search light on the activities of the Foundations of both the past and serving First Ladies, or prevail on the authorities to equally investigate others to avoid been seen to be sectional. But it appears these paid agents masquerading as journalists in Punch and The Nation are not interested in such balanced reporting.They are obviously more interested in continuing the propaganda which now bothers on hate speech against Mrs. Jonathan, just because she is the only former First Lady of the Federal Republic from the South South part of the country.

It must be pointed out that the works of Mrs. Jonathan’s NGO, especially in the area of heart surgery and treating children with hole-in-the-heart challenge are well known. It is no secret that these newspapers whose two compromised reporters are now witch-hunting Mrs. Jonathan also routinely covered those activities.

We are equally worried that a matter that is sub-judiceis so freely visited, interrogated, analysed and reported by two newspapers, in a manner that clearly undermines judicial processes.

This has been happening without consequences, seemingly because it satisfies the expectation of some powerful forces and agrees with a desired mindset. We had thought that those who recklessly discuss a case that is before a court of law, are made to face contempt charges. We are surprised that this has not been the case with the unrelenting and unprofessional reports of these two journalists.

Despite the enormous security, economic and social challenges that had befallen this nation since Mrs. Jonathan and her husband left office almost three years ago, these reporters in The Nation and Punch appears to have done nothing else, outside focusing on fabricated stories against the former First Lady and her husband.

One established trend these papers have perfected without fail is to always rehash old and contrived negative stories bordering on corruption, as a means of neutralizing whatever goodwill the former President would harvest from his numerous high level international engagements. For instance, Jonathan has just returned from Malaysia where he delivered a well received keynote address at a World Peace Summit.  We are convinced that this last story by these newspapers was just tailored to douse the positive outcome of that outing.

One thing we however know is that these hired characters are not God. No matter what they do, they cannot alter the will of God in the lives of this blessed couple.

Even then, we cannot fold our hands and allow the witch-hunt facilitated by these two compromised journalists to continue. We are warning them to desist from this their evil and unprofessional path forthwith, or be prepared to face the legal consequences of their actions.

 

Comrade InigbelabiaKaizer

President

Niger Delta Initiative for Peace and Development Association

(NDPDA)

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